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WaMu Gave Grandma's Money to Crooks

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New York Times Reporting on ICT

The article appeared on May 21, 2007.

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Monday, May 15, 2006
I haven't updated in a while, mainly because there hasn't been much good news. To wit:

» no refunds for Grandma yet despite the protestations of CCR and Andrew Samuel

» no response from Andrew Samuel to my follow-up email

» no help from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (which oversees banks) or the Office of Thrift Supervision (which oversees Washington Mutual)

I haven't given up, but unfortunately I've been too busy lately to pursue this with any vigor.

A couple other notes:

In response to my post of the email I sent Andrew Samuel at Washington Mutual, someone commented:

Give Andrew a chance to rectify the problem. I recently had an issue with WAMU and was likewise referred to Andrew Samuel. It took a while but he came through, and during the entire process was communicative, polite and resourceful. In fact, he took an advocacy stance on my behalf when dealing with the department in question. He truly is one of WAMU's most outstanding staff members and I'm quite happy that I was referred to him.

He's had plenty of chances. I suspect this is a Wamu troll -- check out complaints on ripoffreport.com and there will usually be someone from Wamu commenting in their defense.

I was reading just now an interesting article in the OC Register on charity scams. Regarding the scam artist's psychology, it notes:

University of Tennessee sociologist Neal Shover has studied fraudulent telemarketers for years. He thinks they're interested in one thing: "life as party."

Shover and Glenn S. Coffey of the University of Northern Florida interviewed 45 telemarketers convicted of federal crimes.

They found people who earned $100,000 to $250,000 a year while working just 20 to 30 hours a week. That left plenty of time for "life as party."

"One subject said that they 'would go out to the casinos and blow two, three, four, five thousand dollars a night,'" Shover and Coffey wrote. "Asked how he spent the money he made in telemarketing, one subject replied, 'houses, girls, just going out to nightclubs and lots of blow [cocaine]... lots and lots of blow, enormous amounts.'"

Work itself could be life as party. On the job, many solicitors dressed casually, used drugs and alcohol and got a thrill as potent as any drug from a successful call.

Glad to know my grandma, with the support of Washington Mutual, could help.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
another insider's account of Client Care Relations
If you're wondering where all the manufacturing jobs in America are going or have gone, read on.
I suspect the ground floor of the financial industry -- home mortgages, especially -- serves a role here in America comparable to that of telemarketing in Quebec and elsewhere. I guess the industry is immune to outsourcing so long as the owners can scale their profit to the labor and enjoy whatever benefits the government offers small business owners. (Here in America, they are quite generous.) Also, being raised within the culture (i.e. having no discernible foreign accent) is probably an important qualification for the labor.

The part about not being able to do business in Ohio is interesting. I guess Ohio has already gone after this company.

As with other posts, this is published anonymously with the permission of the person who emailed me:

I referred the person who wrote me to some state investigators.

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Monday, May 01, 2006
update on grandma's refund
Grandma has yet to receive any refund. I have not received a response from Washington Mutual to my last email. Client Care Relations, as far as I know, is still successfully doing business. I will have to call them again when I have some time.